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Now at first the Cyclades are said to have been only twelve in number, but later several others were added. At any rate, Artemidorus enumerates fifteen, after saying of Helena that it stretches parallel to the coast from Thoricus to Sunium and is a long island, about sixty stadia in length; for it is from Helena, he says, that the Cyclades, as they are called, begin; and he names Ceos, the island nearest to Helena, and, after this island, Cythnos and Seriphos and Melos and Siphnos and Cimolos and Prepesinthos and Oliaros, and, in addition to these, Paros, Naxos, Syros, Myconos, Tenos, Andros, and Gyaros. Now I consider all of these among the twelve except Prepesinthos, Oliaros, and Gyaros. When our ship anchored at one of these, Gyaros, I saw a small village that was settled by fishermen; and when we sailed away we took on board one of the fishermen, who had been chosen to go from there to Caesar as ambassador (Caesar was at Corinth, on his way1 to celebrate the Triumph alter the victory at Actium 2). While on the voyage he told enquirers that he had been sent as ambassador to request a reduction in their tribute; for, he said, they were paying one hundred and fifty drachmas when they could only with difficulty pay one hundred. Aratus also points out the poverty of the island in his Catalepton“O Leto, shortly thou wilt pass by me, who am like either iron Pholegandros or worthless Gyaros.

1 i.e., back to Rome.

2 31 B.C.

3 Aratus Catalepton Fr.

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load focus Greek (1877)
load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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