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Concerning the Curetes still further accounts, to the following effect, are given, some of them being more closely related to the history of the Aetolians and the Acarnanians, others more remotely. More closely related are such accounts as I have given before—that the Curetes were living in the country which is now called Aetolia, and that the Aetolians came with Aetolus and drove them into Acarnania; and also accounts of this kind, that, when Pleuronia was inhabited by the Curetes and was called Curetis, Aeolians made an invasion and took it away from them, and drove out its occupants. Archemachus the Euboean1 says that the Curetes settled at Chalcis, but since they were continually at war for the Lelantine Plain and the enemy would catch them by the front hair and drag them down, he says, they let their hair grow long behind but cut short the part in front, and because of this they were called "Curetes," from the cut of their hair,2 and they then migrated to Aetolia, and, after taking possession of the region round Pleuron, called the people who lived on the far side of the Acheloüs "Acarnanians," because they kept their heads "unshorn."3 But some say that each of the two tribes got its name from a hero; others, that the Curetes were named after the mountain Curium, which is situated about Pleuron, and also that this is an Aetolian tribe, like the Ophians and the Agraeans and the Eurytanians and several others. But, as I have already stated,4 when Aetolia was divided into two parts, the region round Calydon, they say, was in the possession of Oeneus, whereas a certain part of Pleuronia was in the possession of the sons of Porthaon, that is, Agrius and his followers, if it be true that“they lived in Pleuron and steep Calydon;
5the mastery over Pleuronia, however, was held by Thestius (the father-in-law of Oeneus and father of Althaea), who was leader of the Curetes; but when war broke out between the sons of Thestius, on the one hand, and Oeneus and Meleager, on the other (“about the hog's head and skin,
6as the poet says, following the mythical story of the boar,7 but in all probability about the possession of a part of the territory), according to the words of the poet,“the Curetes were fighting, as also the Aetolians steadfast in battle.
8So much for the accounts which are more closely related.

1 Archemachus (fl. not later than the third century B.C.) wrote works (now lost) on the History of Euboea and Metonymies (Change of Names).

2 "Cura." From this passage one might identify the "Curetes" with the "Abantes" (see 10. 1. 3), whom Homer speaks of as "letting their hair grow long behind" (Hom. Il. 2.542). According to a scholium (on Iliad l. c.), the Euboeans wore their hair long behind "for the sake of manly strength." The Greeks in general, however, let their hair grow long all over the head in Trojan times, being often referred to by Homer as the "long-haired Achaeans."

3 The Greek adjective used is ἀκούρους ("acurus").

4 10. 2. 3, 22.

5 Hom. Il. 14.116

6 Hom. Il. 9.548

7 Known in mythology as "the Calydonian boar."

8 Hom. Il. 9.529

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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