Pliny,   Natural History

-   Book 4 ,   sections 1-61

Translated by H.Rackham (1952), with some minor alterations. Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each chapter.

In this web version, many of the place names have been altered to reproduce the Latin spellings - for instance, 'Massilia' instead of 'Marseilles'. Wherever possible, links are provided to further information about the places.

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{1.} L   [1] The third gulf of Europe begins at the Acroceraunian Mountains and ends at the Hellespont. Its coast-line measures 1925 miles not including smaller bays. It contains Epirus, Acarnania, Aetolia, Phocis, Locris, Achaia, Messenia, Laconia, Argolis, Megaris, Attica and Boeotia; and again, on the side of the other sea, Phocis and Locris before-mentioned and Doris, Phthiotis, Thessaly, Magnesia, Macedonia and Thrace. All the legendary lore of Greece and likewise its glorious literature first shone forth from this gulf; and consequently we will briefly dwell upon it.

[2] Epirus in the wide sense of the term begins at the Ceraunian Mountains. The peoples that it contains are first the Chaones who give their name to Chaonia, and then the Thesprotians and Antigonenses; then comes the place called Aornos with exhalations that are noxious to birds, the Cestrini, the Perrhaebi to whom belongs Mount Pindus, the Cassopaei, the Dryopes, the Selloi, the Hellopes, the Molossians in whose territory is the temple of Zeus of Dodona, famous for its oracle, and Mount Talarus, celebrated by Theopompus, with a hundred springs at its foot. [3] Epirus proper stretches to Magnesia and Macedonia, and has at its back the Dassaretae above mentioned, a free race, and then the savage tribe of the Dardani. On the left side of the Dardani stretch the Triballi and the Moesic races, and joining them in front are the Medi and the Denseletae, and joining these the Thracians who extend all the way to the Black Sea. Such is the girdle that walls in the lofty heights of Rhodope and then of the Haemus. [4] On the coast of Epirus is the fortress of Chimera on the Acroceraunian mountains, and below it the spring named the Royal Water and the towns of Maeandria and Cestria, the Thesprotian river Thyamis, the colony of Buthrotum, and the very celebrated Ambracian Gulf, whose inlet, half a mile wide, admits an extensive sheet of water, 37 miles long and 15 miles broad. Into it discharges the river Acheron flowing from the Acherusian Lake in Thesprotia, a course of 35 miles, and remarkable in the eyes of people who admire all the achievements of their own race for its 1000-foot bridge. On the gulf lies the town of Ambracia, and there are the Molossian rivers Aphas and Arrathus, the city of Anactorium and the place where Pandosia stood.

[5] The towns of Acarnania, which was previously called Curetis, are Heraclea, Echinus, and, on the actual coast, the colony founded by Augustus, Actium, with the famous temple of Apollo, and the free city of Nicopolis. Passing from the Ambracian Gulf into the Ionian Sea we come to the coast of Leucadia and Cape Leucates, and then to the gulf and the actual peninsula of Leucadia, formerly called Neritis, which by the industry of its inhabitants was once cut off from the mainland and which has been restored to it by the mass of sand piled up against it by the violence of the winds; the place has a Greek name meaning 'canalized,' and is 600 yards long. On the peninsula is the town of Leucas, formerly called Neritus. Then come the Acarnanian cities of Alyzia, Stratos, and Argos surnamed Amphilochian, and the river Achelous flowing from Mount Pindus and separating Acarnania from Aetolia; the continual deposits of earth that it brings down are linking the island of Artemita to the main land.

{2.} L   [6] The Aetolian peoples are the Athamanes, Tymphaei, Ephyri, Aenienses, Perrhaebi, Dolopes, Maraces and Atraces in whose district is the source of the river Atrax that flows into the Ionian Sea. The towns of Aetolia are Calydon on the river Euenus seven miles and a half from the sea, and then Macynia and Molycria, behind which are Mount Chalcis and Taphiassus. On the coast is the Promontory of Antirrhium, at which is the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth, less than a mile broad, whose channel separates the Aetolians from the Peloponnese. The promontory that juts out opposite is called Rhium. Aetolian towns on the Gulf of Corinth are Naupactus, Eupalimna, and inland Pleuron and Halicarna. Notable mountains are Tomarus in the district of Dodona, Crania in Ambracia, Aracynthus in Acarnania, and Achaton, Panaetolium and Macynium in Aetolia.

{3.} L   [7] Next to the Aetolians are the Locrians, surnamed Ozolae, who are exempt from tribute. Here are the town of Oeanthe, the harbour of Apollo Phaestius and the Chrisaean Gulf; and inland the towns of Argyna, Eupalia, Phaestum and Calamisus. Beyond are the Cirrhaean Plains of Phocis, the town of Cirrha and the port of Chalaeon, seven miles inland from which is Delphi, a free town at the foot of Mount Parnassus and the seat of the oracle of Apollo, the most famous in the world. [8] Here are the Castalian Spring and the river Cephisus flowing past Delphi; it rises at the city of Lilaea. There was also formerly the town of Crisa, and together with the people of Bulis there are Anticyra, Naulochus, Pyrrha, the tax-free town of Amphissa, Tithrone, Tithorea, Ambrysus and Mirana, the district also called Daulis. Then right up the bay is the sea-board corner of Boeotia with the towns of Siphae and Thebes surnamed the Corsian, near Mount Helicon. The third town of Boeotia up from this sea is Pagae, from which projects the neck of the Peloponnese.

{4.} L   [9] The Peloponnese, which was previously called Apia and Pelasgia, is a peninsula inferior in celebrity to no region of the earth. It lies between two seas, the Aegean and the Ionian, and resembles in shape the leaf of a plane-tree on account of the angular indentations the circuit of its coast-line, according to Isidore, amounts to 563 miles, and nearly as much again in addition, measuring the shores of the bays. The narrow neck of land from which it projects is called the Isthmus. At this place the two seas that have been mentioned encroach on opposite sides from the north and east and swallow up all the breadth of the peninsula at this point, until in consequence of the inroad of such large bodies of water in opposite directions the coasts on either side have been eaten away so as to leave a space between them of only five miles, with the result that the Peloponnese is only attached to Greece by a narrow neck of land. [10] The inlets on either side are called the Corinthian Gulf and the Saronic Gulf, the former ending in Lecheae and the latter in Cenchreae. The circuit of the Peloponnese is a long and dangerous voyage for vessels prohibited by their size from being carried across the isthmus on trolleys, and consequently successive attempts were made by King Demetrius, Caesar the dictator and the emperors Caligula and Nero, to dig a ship-canal through the narrow partan undertaking which the end that befell them all proves to have been an act of sacrilege! [11] In the middle of this neck of land which we have called the Isthmus is the colony of Corinth, the former name of which was Ephyra; its habitations cling to the side of a hill, 60 stades from the coast on either side, and the top of its citadel, called the Acrocorinth, on which is the spring of Pirene, commands views of the two seas in opposite directions. The distance across the Isthmus from Leucas to Patras on the Gulf of Corinth is 88 miles. The colony of Patrae is situated on the longest projection of the Peloponnese opposite to Aetolia and the river Euenus, separated from them at the actual mouth of the gulf by a gap of less than a mile, as has been said; but in length the Gulf of Corinth extends 85 miles from Patrae to the Isthmus.

{5.} L   [12] At the Isthmus begins the province named Achaia. It was previously called Aegialos on account of the cities situated in a row on its coast. The first place there is Lecheae the port of Corinth, already mentioned, and then come Olyrus the fortress of the people of Pellene, and the towns of Helice, and Bura, and those in which their inhabitants took refuge when the former towns were swallowed up by the sea, namely Sicyon, Aegira, Aegium and Erineos. Inland are Cleonae and Hysiae. [13] Then come the port of Panhormus and Rhium already described, the distance between which promontory and Patrae which we have mentioned above is five miles; and then the place called Pherae. Of the nine mountains in Achaia the best known is Scioessa; and there is also the spring of Cyrnothoe. Beyond Patrae is the town of Olenum, the colony of Dyme, the places called Buprasium and Hyrmine, the promontory of Araxus, the Bay of Cyllene, the promontory of Chelonates 5 miles from Cyllene, the fortress of Phlius, the district round which was called Araethyrea by Homer and afterwards Asopis.

[14] Then begins the territory of the Eleans, who were formerly called the Epioi. Elis itself is in the interior, and 13 miles inland from Pylus is the shrine of Olympian Zeus, which owing to the celebrity of its Games has taken possession of the calendar of Greece; here once was the town of Pisa on the banks of the river Alpheus. On the coast are the promontory of Ichthys, the river Alpheus, navigable for 6 miles, the towns of Aulon and Leprium, and the promontory of Platanodes, all these places lying westward. [15] Southward are the Gulf of Cyparissus with the city of Cyparissus on its shore, which is 75 miles round, the towns of Pylus and Methone, the place called Helos, the promontory of Acritas, the Asinaean Gulf named from the town of Asine and the Coronaean named from Corone; the list ends with the promontory of Taenarum. Here is the territory of Messenia with its 18 mountains, and the river Pyrnatza; and inland, the city of Messene, Ithome, Oechalia, Arene, Pteleon, Thryon, Dorion and Zancle, all of them celebrated at different periods. The gulf measures 80 miles round and 30 miles across.

[16] At Taenarum begins the territory of the free nation of Laconia, and the Laconian Gulf, which measures 106 miles round and 38 miles across. The towns are Taenarum, Amyclae, Chitries, Levtros, and inland Sparta, Therapne, the sites of the former Cardamyle, Pitane and Anthea, the place called Thyrea, Gerania, Mount Taygetus, the river Eurotas, the Gulf of Aegilodes, the town of Psamathus, the Gulf of Gytheum called from the town of that name, from which is the safest crossing to the island of Crete. All these places are bounded by the promontory of Malea.

[17] The bay that comes next, extending to Scyllaeum, is called the Argolic Gulf; it is 50 miles across and 162 miles round. The towns on it are Boea, Epidaurus surnamed Limera, Zarax, and the port of Cyphanta. The rivers are the Inachus and the Erasinus, between which lies Argos surnamed Hippium, above the place called Lerne, two miles from the sea, and nine miles further on Mycenae and the traditional site of Tiryns and the place called Mantinea. The mountains are Artemisius, Apesantus, Asterion, Parparus and others numbering eleven; the springs, Niobe, Amymone and Psamathe.

[18] From Scyllaeum to the Isthmus of Corinth is 80 miles. The towns are Hermione, Troezen, Coryphasium and Argos, sometimes called Inachian Argos and sometimes Dipsian; then comes the harbour of Schoenitas, and the Saronic Gulf, formerly encircled with oak woods from which it takes its name, this being the old Greek word for an oak. On it is the town of Epidaurus famous for its shrine of Aesculapius; the promontory of Spiraeum; the ports of Anthedus and Bucephalus, and that of Cenchreae mentioned above, on the south side of the Isthmus, with the temple of Poseidon, famous for the Isthmian Games celebrated there every four years.

[19] So many are the bays that pierce the coast of the Peloponnese, and so many seas howl round it, inasmuch as it is invaded on the north by the Ionian Sea, lashed on the west by the Sicilian, and beset by the Cretan on the south, by the Aegean on the south-east and on the north-east by the Myrtoan which starting at the Gulf of Megara washes the whole coast of Attica.

{6.} L   [20] Most of the interior of the Peloponnese is occupied by Arcadia, which on every side is remote from the sea; it was originally called Drymodes, and later Pelasgis. Its towns are Psophis, Mantinea, Stymphalus, Tegea, Antigonea, Orchomenus, Pheneus, Pallantium (from which the Palatine at Rome gets its name), Megalopolis, Gortyna, Bucolium, Camion, Parrhasia, Thelpusa, Melaenae, Heraea, Pylae, Pallene, Agrae, Epium, Cynaethae, Lepreon in Arcadia, Parthenium, Alea, Methydrimum, Enispe, Macistum, Lampia, Clitorium and Cleonae. Between the last two towns is the district of Nemea commonly called Bembinadia. [21] The mountains in Arcadia are Pholoe, with a town of the same name, Cyllene also with a town, Lycaeus on which is the shrine of Zeus Lycaeus, Maenalus, Artemisius, Parthenius, Lampeus, Nonacris, and also eight others of no note. The rivers are the Ladon flowing from the marshes of Pheneus and the Erymanthus flowing down from the mountain of the same name into the Alpheus. [22] The remaining states in Achaia deserving of mention are those of the Alipheraei, Abeatae, Pyrgenses, Paroreatae, Paragenitae, Tortuni, Typanei, Thriusi and Tritienses. Freedom was given to the whole of Achaia by Domitius Nero. The Peloponnese measures 190 miles across from Cape Malea to the town of Aegium on the Gulf of Corinth, and in the other direction 125 miles from Elis to Epidauros and 68 miles from Olympia through Arcadia to Argos. (The distance between Olympia and Pylos has been given already.) Nature has compensated for the inroads of the sea by the mountainous character of the entire region, there being 76 peaks in all.

{7.} L   [23] At the narrow part of the Isthmus begins Hellas, called in our language Greece. In this the first region is Attica, named in antiquity Acte. It touches the Isthmus with the part of it named Megaris, from Megara, the colony on the opposite side of the Isthmus from Pagae. These two towns are situated where the Peloponnese projects, and stand on either side of the Isthmus, as it were on the shoulders of Hellas, Pagae and also Aegosthena, being assigned to the jurisdiction of Megara. On the coast are the harbour of Schoenos, the towns Leandra and Cremmyon, the Scironian Rocks six miles in length, Gerania, Megara and Eleusis; [24] formerly there were also Oenoe and Probalinthos. There now are the harbours of Piraeus and Phaleron, 55 miles from the Isthmus, and joined by wall to Athens 5 miles away. Athens is a free city, and requires no further advertisement here as her celebrity is more than ample. In Attica are the springs of Cephisia, Larine, and the Nine Wells of Callirrhoe, and the mountains of Brilessus, Aegialeus, Icarius, Hymettus and Lycabettus; the place called Ilissus; the promontories of Sunium, 45 miles from Piraeus, and Thoricos; the former towns of Potamos, Steria and Brauron, the village of Rhamnus, the place called Marathon, the Thriasian Plain, the town of Melita, and Oropus on the border of Boeotia.

[25] To Boeotia belong Anthedon, Onchestus, the free town of Thespiae, Lebadea, and Thebes, surnamed Boeotian, which does not yield even to Athens in celebrity, and which is reputed to be the native place of two deities, Liber and Hercules. The Muses also are assigned a birthplace in the grove of Helicon. To this city of Thebes also are attributed the forest of Cithaeron and the river Ismenus. Besides these Boeotia contains the Springs of Oedipus and those of Psamathe, Dirce, Epicrane, Arethusa, Hippocrene, Aganippe and Gargaphie; and in addition to the mountains previously mentioned, Mycalesus, Hadylius and Aeontius. [26] The remaining towns between the Megarid and Thebes are Eleutherae, Haliartus, Plataea, Pherae, Aspledon, Hyle, Thisbe, Erythrae, Glissa, Copae, Lamiae and Anichiae on the river Cephisus, Medeon, Phlygone, Acraephia, Coronea and Chaeronea. On the coast below Thebes are Ocalee, Heleon, Scolos, Schoenos, Peteon, Hyrie, Mycalesos, Ireseum, Pteleon, Olyarum, Tanagra a free state, and right in the channel of the Euripus, formed by the island of Euboea lying opposite, Aulis famous for its spacious harbour. The Boeotians had the name of Hyantes in earlier days. [27] Then come the Locrians surnamed Epicnemidii, and formerly called Leleges, through whose territory the river Cephisus flows down to the sea; and the towns of Opūs, which gives its name to the Opuntian Bay, and Cynus. The only town of Phocis on the coast is Daphnus, but inland are Larisa, Elatea, and on the banks of the Cephisus, as we have said, Lilaea, and, facing Delphi, Cnemis and Hyampolis. Then there is the Locrian coast, on which are Larumna and Thronium, near which the river Boagrius flows into the sea, and the towns of Narycum, Alope and Scarphia. Afterwards comes the Malian Gulf named from its inhabitants and on it are the towns of Halcyone, Aeconia and Phalara.

[28] Then comes Doris, in which are Sperchios, Erineon, Boion, Pindus and Cytinum. In the rear of Doris is Mount Oeta.

There follows Haemonia, which has often changed its name, having been successively called Pelasgis or Pelasgic Argos, and Hellas, Thessaly and Dryopis, always taking its surname from its kings: it was the birthplace of the king named Graecus from whom Greece is named, and of king Hellen from whom the Hellenes get their name. These same people are called by three different names in Homer, Myrmidons, Hellenes and Achaeans. The section of the Hellenes adjacent to Doris are named Phthiotae; their towns are Echinus and Heraclea, which takes the name of Trechin from the Pass of Thermopylae four miles away in the gorge of the river Sperchius. Here is Mount Callidromus, and the notable towns are Hellas, Halos, Lamia, Phthia and Arne.

{8.} L   [29] The places in Thessaly are Orchomenus, formerly called the Minyan, and the town of Alimon, otherwise Holmon, Atrax, Palamna, the Hyperian Spring, the towns of Pherae (behind which lies Pieria spreading in the direction of Macedonia), Larisa, Gomphi, Thessalian Thebes, Elm Wood, the Gulf of Volo, the town of Pagasa subsequently called Demetrias, Tricca, the Pharsalian Plains with their free city, Crannon, Iletia. The mountains of Phthiotis are Nymphaeus, once so beautiful for its natural landscape gardening, Buzygaeus, Donacoessa, Bromiaeus, Daphusa, Chimarone, Athamas, Stephane. [30] In Thessaly there are 34, of which the most famous are Cercetii, Pierian Olympus and Ossa, facing which are Pindus and Othrys the abode of the Lapiths - these looking to the west; and looking east is Pelion; all form a curve like a theatre, and in the hollow in front of them lie 75 cities. Thessaly contains the rivers Apidanus, Phoenix, Enipeus, Onochonus and Pamisus; the spring Messeis; Lake Boebeis; and before all alike in celebrity the river Peneus, rising close to Gomphi and flowing down a wooded glen between Ossa and Olympus for 62 miles, for half of which distance it is navigable. [31] Part of this course is called the Vale of Tempe, 5 miles long and nearly an acre and a half in breadth, with gently sloping hills rising beyond human sight on either hand, while the valley between is verdant with a grove of trees. Along it glides the Peneus, glittering with pebbles and adorned with grassy banks, melodious with the choral song of birds. Into it flows the river Orcus, to which it gives no intimate welcome, but merely carries it for a brief space floating on its surface like a skin of oil, in Homer's phrase, and then rejects it, refusing to allow the punitive waters engendered for the service of the Furies to mingle with its own silver flood.

{9.} L   [32] Adjoining Thessaly is Magnesia, to which belong the spring Libethra, the towns of Iolcus, Ormenium, Pyrrha, Methone and Olizon, Cape Sepias, the towns of Castana and Spalathra, Cape Aeantium, the towns Meliboea, Rhizus and Erymnae, the mouth of the Peneus, the towns Homolium, Orthe, Iresiae, Pelinna, Thaumacie, Gyrton, Crannon, Acharne, Dotion, Melite, Phylace and Potniae.

The total length of Epirus, Achaia, Attica and Thessaly is said to be 490 miles and the total breadth of 297 miles.

{10.} [33] Next comes Macedonia, with 150 nations, and famous for two kings and for its former world-wide empire; it was previously called Emathia. It stretches westward to the races of Epirus, at the back of Magnesia and Thessaly, and on this side is exposed to the inroads of the Dardani, but its northern part is protected from the Triballi by Paeonia and Pelagonia. Its towns are Aegae, the customary burial place of its kings, Beroea, and in the district called Pieria from the forest of that name, Aeginium. [34] On the coast are Heraclea, the river Apilas, the towns of Pydna and Alorus, and the river Haliacmon. Inland are the Aloritae, Vallaei, Phylacaei, Cyrrestae and Tyrissaei, the colony of Pella, and the town of Stobi, which has the Roman citizenship. Then come Antigonea, Europus on the river Axius, and the town of the same name through which flows the Rhoedias, Scydra, Eordaea, Mieza and Gordyniae. [35] Then on the coast Ichnae and the river Axius. The neighbours of Macedonia on this frontier are the Dardani, Treres and Pieres, and after the river Axius come the Paeonian races of the Paroraei, Eordenses, Almopi, Pelagones and Mygdones, and the mountains of Rhodope, Scopius and Orbelus; then, in the fold of ground lying in front of them, the Arethusii, Antiochienses, Idomenenses, Doberi, Aestrienses, Allantenses, Audaristenses, Morylli, Garresci, Lyncestae, Othryonei, and the free peoples of the Amantini and Orestae; the colonies Bullidenses and Dienses; the Xylopolitae, the free Scotussaei, Heraclea Sintica, the Tymphaei, the Toronaei. [36] On the Macedonian coast of the gulf are the town of Chalastra and, farther in, Pylorus, Lete, and at the centre of the curve of the coast the free city of Thessalonice (from there to Dyrrhachium is 245 miles), Therme, and on the Gulf of Thessalonice the towns of Dicaea, Palinandrea and Scione, Cape Canastraeum, and the towns of Pallene and Phlegra. The mountains in this district are Hypsizonus, Epitus, Algion and Elaeuomne; [37] the towns are Nyssus, Phryxelon, Mendae, and on the isthmus of Pallene what was formerly Potidaea but is now the colony of Cassandrea, Anthemus, Olophyxus, Mecyberna Bay, the towns of Miscella, Ampelos, Torone, Singos, Telos, and the canal, a mile and a half in length, by which the Persian king Xerxes cut off Mount Athos a from the mainland. The actual mountain projects from the level plain into the sea for a distance of 25 miles, and its circumference at its base amounts to 150 miles. There was once a town on its summit called Acrathoon; the present towns on it are Uranopolis, Palaehorium, Thyssus, Cleonae, and Apollonia, the inhabitants of which are called Macrobii. [38] Then the town of Cassera, and the other side of the isthmus, Acanthus, Stagira, Sithone, Heraclea, and the district of Mygdonia lying below, in which at some distance from the sea are Apollonia and Arethusa, and on the coast again Posidium and the bay with the town of Cermorus, the free city of Amphipolis, and the tribe of the Bisaltae. Then comes the river Strymon which rises in Mount Haemus and forms the boundary of Macedonia; it is worth recording that it spreads out into seven lakes before it proceeds on its course.

[39] Such is Macedonia, which once won a worldwide empire, marched across Asia, Armenia, Iberia, Albania, Cappadocia, Syria, Egypt, Mount Taurus and the Caucasus, was lord over the Bactrians, Medes and Persians, owned the entire East, and even roamed in the tracks of Father Liber and of Hercules and conquered India; and this also is the Macedonia 72 of whose cities our general Aemilius Paullus pillaged and sold in a single day. So great the difference in her lot bestowed upon her by two individuals!

{11.} L   [40] Next comes Thrace, one of the most powerful nations of Europe, divided into fifty commands.

Of its peoples those whom we ought not to omit to name are the Denseletae and the Maedi, who live on the right bank of the river Strymon right up to the Bisaltae above mentioned, and the Digerri and the various sections of the Bessi on the left bank, as far as the river Mestus that winds round the foot of Mount Pangaeum, passing though the Haleti, Diobessi and Carbilesi, and then the Brysae, Sapaei and Odomanti. The race of the Odrysae owns the source of the Hebrus, on the banks of which live the Cabyleti, Pyrogeri, Drugeri, Caenici, Hypsalti, Beni, Corpilli, Bottiaei and Edoni. [41] In the same district are the Staletae, Priantae, Dolongae, Thyni, and the Greater Celaletae at the foot of Mount Haemus and the Lesser at the foot of Mount Rhodope. Between these tribes runs the river Hebrus, and below Rhodope is the town formerly called Poneropolis, then Philippopolis after its founder, and now Trimontium from its site. To the summit of Mount Haemus is a journey of six miles. Its opposite side sloping down towards the Danube is inhabited by the Moesi, Getae, Aedi, Scaugdae and Clariae, and below them the Sarmatian Arraei called Areatae, and the Scythians, and round the shores of the Black Sea the Moriseni and the Sithoni, the ancestry of the poet Orpheus.

[42] Thus Thrace is bounded by the Danube on the north, the Black Sea and Propontus on the east, and the Aegean Sea on the south, on the coast of which after leaving the Strymon we come to Apollonia, Oesyma, Neapolis and Datos. Inland is the colony of Philippi, at a distance of 325 miles from Dyrrhachium, Scotussa, the state of Topiros, the mouth of the river Mestus, the mountain of Mount Pangaeum, Heraclea, Olynthos, the free city of Abdera, the marsh and the people of the Bistones. Here once was the town of Tirida, formidable on account of the stables of the horses of Diomedes; and there now are the towns of Dicaea and Ismaron, the place called Parthenion, Phalesina, Maronea formerly called Orthagurea, Mount Serrium, Zone; [43] and then the place called Doriscus, a plain large enough to hold 10,000 men, as it was in detachments of that number that Xerxes there counted his army; the month of the Hebrus, the harbour of Stentor, the free town of Aenos with the Funeral Mound of Polydorus, a district formerly belonging to the Cicones. From Doriscus the coast makes a curve of 112 miles to Macron Teichos, round which flows the River Melas that gives its name to the bay. The towns are Cypsela, Bisanthe, Macron Teichos, so called because its fortifications extend between the two seas, from the Propontis to the Gulf of Aenos, cutting off the projecting Chersonese. [44] For the other side of Thrace begins at the coast of the Black Sea where the Danube flows into it; and this region comprises its finest cities, Histropolis, a colony from Miletus, Tomi and Callatis, formerly called Cerbatis. It formerly had Heraclea and Bizone, which was swallowed up by an earthquake, and it still has the Dionysopolis, previously called Crunos, which is washed by the river Zyras. The whole of this region was occupied by the Scythian tribe called the Ploughmen {Aroteres}, their towns being Aphrodisias, Libistus, Zygere, Rhocobae, Eumenia, Parthenopolis and Gerania, stated to have been the abode of the race of Pigmies: their name in the local dialect used to be Catizi, and there is a belief that they were driven away by cranes. [45] On the coast after the Dionysopolis come the Milesian colony of Odessus, the river Pannysis, the town of Ereta and Naulochus. The enormous ridge of Mount Haemus projecting into the Black Sea formerly had on its summit the town of Aristaeum, and on the coast now are Mesembria and Anchialus on the former site of Messa. The region of Astice had a town of Anthium, which is now Apollonia. The rivers are the Panisos, Iuras, Tearus, Orosines; the towns Thynias, Halmydesos, Develton (with its marsh now called Deultum), a colony of veterans, and Phinopolis, near which is the Bosporus. From the mouth of the Danube to the outlet of the Black Sea was reckoned as 552 miles, but Agrippa made it 60 miles more; and from that point to the wall above mentioned is 150 miles, and from there to the end of the Chersonese 126 miles.

[46] On leaving the Bosporus we come to the Bay of Lasthenes, the Old Men's Harbour and the other called the Women's Harbour, and the promontory of the Golden Horn, on which is the town of Byzantium, a free state, formerly called Lygos; it is 711 miles from Dyrrhachium, so great being the space of land between the Adriatic and the Propontis. [47] There are the rivers Bathynias and Pidaras or Athidas, and the towns of Selymbria and Perinthus which are connected with the mainland by an isthmus 200 ft. wide. Inland are Bizye, a citadel of the kings of Thrace that is hated by swallows because of the outrage committed by Tereus, the district of Caenica, the colony of Flaviopolis on the site of the former town called Caela, and 50 miles from Bizye the colony of Apros, which is 189 miles distant from Philippi. On the coast is the river Erginus, and once stood the town of Ganos; Lysimachea on the Chersonese is also now becoming deserted. [48] But at this point there is another Isthmus which cut up marks similar narrows with the same name and is of about equal width; and in a not dissimilar manner two cities occupied the shores on either side, Pactye on the side of the Propontis and Cardia on that of the Gulf of Aenos, the latter city taking its name from the conformation of the place; both were subsequently united with the city of Lysimachea, five miles from the Long Wall. On the Propontis side of the Chersonese were Tiristasis, Crithotes and Cissa lying on the Goat's River; and there is now Resisthos, 22 miles from the colony of Apros, opposite to the colony of Parium. [49] Also the Hellespont, which as we have said divide Europe from Asia by a space of 7 stades, has four cities facing one another on the opposite sides, Callipolis and Sestus in Europe and Lampsacus and Abydus in Asia. Then on the Chersonese there is the promontory of Mastusia opposite to Sigeum, on the slanting side of which is the Bitch's Tomb (the name given to the funeral mound of Hecuba), the naval station of the Greeks in the Trojan war, and a tower, the shrine of Protesilaus, and at the point of the peninsula, which is called Aeolium, the town of Elaeus. Then as you make for the Gulf of Aenos you have the harbours of Coelos and Panormus and Cardia above mentioned.

[50] This rounds off the third Gulf of Europe. The mountains of Thrace, beside those already mentioned, are Edonus, Gygemeros, Meritus and Melamphyllus; the rivers are the Bargus and the Syrmus, which fall into the Hebrus. The length of Macedonia, Thrace and the Hellespont has been mentioned previously (some make it 720 miles); the breadth is 384 miles.

[51] The Aegean Sea takes its name from an island, or more truly a rock suddenly springing out of the middle of the sea, between Tenos and Chios, named Aex from its resemblance to a she-goat - aix being the Greek word for the animal. In sailing from Achaia to Antandrus, this rock is sighted on the starboard side, and it is a sinister threat of disaster. One section of the Aegean is distinguished as the Myrtoan Sea; it takes its name from the small island of Myrtos sighted as you sail from Geraestus in the direction of Macedonia, not far from Carystus in Euboea. The Romans call all these seas by two names, the Macedonian Sea wherever it touches Macedonia or Thrace and the Grecian Sea where it washes the coast of Greece; while the Greeks divide the Ionian Sea too into the Sicilian and the Cretan, named from the islands, and also give the name of Icarian to the part hetween Samos and Myconos, and the other Greek names are taken from the gulfs that we have mentioned.

{12.} L   [52] So much for the arrangement of the seas and the nations in the third Gulf of Europe. The islands are as follows: opposite to Thesprotia, 12 miles from Buthrotum and also 50 from Acroceraunia, lies Corcyra, with a city of the same name, a free state, and the town of Cassiope, and the temple of Jupiter Cassius; the island is 97 miles long. In Homer it has the names of Scheria and Phaeacia, and in Callimachus also that of Drepane. Several islands lie round it, especially Othronos on the side towards Italy and Paxos and the two Subotae islands towards Leucadia, both 5 miles away from Corcyra. [53] Not far from these, lying off Corcyra, are Ericusa, Marathe, Elaphusa, Malthace, Trachie, Pythionia, Ptychia and Tarachie, and off the promontory of Corcyra called Phalacrus the rock into which (according to the story, which is due to the similarity of shape) the ship of Ulysses was changed. Off Leucadia and Aetolia are a very large number, among which those called the Teleboides, and also by their inhabitants the Taphiae, are Taphias, Carnos, Oxia, and Prinoessa; off Aetolia are the Echinades, Aegialia, Cotonis, Thyatira, Geoaris, Dionysia, Cyrnus, Chalcis, Pinara, Nystrus. [54] Off these out at sea lie Cephallenia and Zacynthus, both free, Ithaca, Dulichium, Same, and Crocyle. Cephallenia, formerly called in Greek the Black Island, is 10 miles from Paxos, and measures 93 miles in circumference; Same has been demolished by the Romans, but still possesses three towns. Between Same and the coast of Achaia lies Zacynthus, distinguished by its fine town and remarkable for the fertility of its soil; it was at one time called Hyrie. It is 25 miles from the southern part of Cephallenia, and on it is the celebrated mountain of Elatus. It measures 36 miles in circumference. [55] At a distance of 15 miles from Zacynthus is Ithaca, on which is Monte Stefano; its whole circumference measures 25 miles. The distance from it to the Peloponnesian promontory of Araxus is 15 miles. Off Ithaca in the open sea are Asteris and Prote, and off Zacynthus at a distance of 35 miles to the south-east are the two Strophades, called by other people the Plotae. Off Cephallenia is Letoia, off Pylos the three Sphageae and off Messene the three Oenussae.

[56] In the Gulf of Asine are the three Thyrides, and in the Gulf of Laconia Teganissa, Cothon and Cythera with the town of that namethe former name of this island was Porphyris; it lies 5 miles from Cape Malea, which is dangerous to circumnavigate because of the narrowness of the strait. In the Gulf of Argos are Pityusa, Erine and Ephyre; opposite the territory of Hermione Tricarenus, Aperopia, Colonis and Aristera; [57] opposite that of Troezen, Calauria half a mile away, Plateis, Belbina, Lasia and Baucidias; opposite Epidaurus, Cecryphalos and Pityonesus 6 miles from the mainland. Fifteen miles from Pityonesus is Aegina, a free state, which is 18 miles long as you sail past it, and 20 miles distant from Piraeus, the port of Athens; its name used to be Oenone. Off the promontory of Spiraeum lie Eleusa, Adendros, the two Craugiae, the two Caeciae and Selacosa; and Aspis 7 miles from Cenchreae and Methurides in the Bay of Megara 4 miles; while Aegila is 15 miles from Cythera and 25 from the Cretan town of Phalasarna.

[58] Crete itself stretches east and west with one side facing south and the other north; it is celebrated for the renown of its 100 cities. Dosiades held the view that it took its name from the Nymphnymph Crete, daughter of Hesperis, Anaximander that it was named from the king of the Curetes, Philistides of Mallos and Crates that it was first called Aeria and then subsequently Curetis; its Greek appellation, 'the Island of the Blest,' is thought by some to be due to the mildness of its climate. Its breadth nowhere exceeds 50 miles, its widest part being about the middle; its length is fully 270 miles and its circumference 589 miles; its longest side forms a curve towards the Cretan Sea which takes its name from it, its easternmost projection, Cape Samonium, pointing towards Rhodes and its westernmost, the Ram's Forehead, towards Cyrene.

[59] The important cities of Crete are Phalasarna, Elaea, Cisamon, Pergamum, Cydonia, Minoium, Apteron, Pantomatrium, Amphimala, Rhithymna, Panhormum, Cytaeum, Apollonia, Matium, Heraclea, Miletos, Ampelos, Hierapytna, Lebena and Hierapolis; and in the interior Gortyna, Phaestus, Cnossus, Polyrrhenum, Myrina, Lycastos, Rhamnus, Lyctus, Dium, Asium, Pyloros, Rhytion, Elatos, Pherae, Holopyxos, Lasos, Eleuthernae, Therapnae, Marathusa, Gytisos, and about 60 other towns of which only the memory exists. The mountains are Cadistus, Ida, Dictynna and Corycus. [60] The distance of the island at its promontory called the Ram's Forehead from the promontory of Cyrene named Phycus is stated by Agrippa to be 125 miles, and at Cadistus from Malea in the Peloponnese 80; at the promontory of Samonium it is 60 miles west of the island of Carpathos, which lies between it and Rhodes.

[61] The remaining islands lying round Crete are towards the Peloponnese, the two called Corycos and the two called Myla; on the north side having Crete on the right and opposite to Cydonea are Leuce and the two called Budroe, opposite to Matium is Dia, opposite to the promontory of Itanos are Onysia and Leuce, and opposite to Hierapytna Chrysa and Gaudos. In the same region are Ophiussa, Butoa and Rhamnus, and after rounding the Ram's Forehead the three called Acusagorus. Off the promontory of Samonium are the Phocoi, Platiae and Stirnides, and Naulochos, Harmedon and Zephyre.

Following sections (62-122)

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