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”(as he says),“who was but one short of five cubits in height.
”4And along with these flourished also Sappho, a marvellous woman; for in all the time of which we have record I do not know of the appearance of any woman who could rival Sappho, even in a slight degree, in the matter of poetry. The city was in those times ruled over by several tyrants because of the dissensions among the inhabitants; and these dissensions are the subject of the Stasiotic5 poems, as they are called, of Alcaeus. And also Pittacus6 was one of the tyrants. Now Alcaeus would rail alike at both Pittacus and the rest, Myrsilus and Melanchrus and the Cleanactidae and certain others, though even he himself was not innocent of revolutionary attempts; but even Pittacus himself used monarchy for the overthrow of the oligarchs, and then, after overthrowing them, restored to the city its independence. Diophanes the rhetorician was born much later; but Potamon, Lesbocles, Crinagoras, and Theophanes the historian in my time. Theophanes was also a statesman; and he became a friend to Pompey the Great, mostly through his very ability, and helped him to succeed in all his achievements; whence he not only adorned his native land, partly through Pompey and partly through himself, but also rendered himself the most illustrious of all the Greeks. He left a son, Marcus Pompey, whom Augustus Caesar once set up as Procurator of Asia, and who is now counted among the first of the friends of Tiberius. The Athenians were in danger of suffering an irreparable disgrace when they voted that all Mitylenaeans from youth upwards should be slain, but they changed their minds and their counter-decree reached the generals only one day before the order was to be executed.  Pyrrha has been razed to the ground, but its suburb is inhabited and has a harbor, whence there is a passage of eighty stadia over hills to Mitylene. Then, after Pyrrha, one comes to Eressus; it is situated on a hill and extends down to the sea. Then to Sigrium, twenty-eight stadia from Eressus. Both Theophrastus and Phanias, the peripatetic philosophers, disciples of Aristotle, were from Eressus. Theophrastus was at first called Tyrtamus, but Aristotle changed his name to Theophrastus, at the same time avoiding the cacophony of his name and signifying the fervor of his speech; for Aristotle made all his pupils eloquent, but Theophrastus most eloquent of all. Antissa, a city with a harbor, comes next in order after Sigrium. And then Methymna, whence came Arion, who, according to a myth told by Herodotus and his followers, safely escaped on a dolphin to Taenarum after being thrown into the sea by the pirates. Now Arion played, and sang to, the cithara; and Terpander, also, is said to have been an artist in the same music and to have been born in the same island, having been the first person to use the seven-stringed instead of the four-stringed lyre, as we are told in the verses attributed to him:“For thee I, having dismissed four-toned song, shall sing new hymns to the tune of a seven-stringed cithara.
”7Also Hellanicus the historian, and Cailias, who interpreted Sappho and Alcaeus, were Lesbians.  In the strait between Asia and Lesbos there are about twenty small islands, but according to Timosthenes, forty. They are called Hecatonnesi, a compound name like Peloponnesus, the second letter n being customarily redundant in such compounds, as in the names Myonnesus, Proconnesus, and Halonnesus; and consequently we have Hecatonnesi, which means Apollonnesi, for Apollo is called Hecatus; for along the whole of this coast, as far as Tenedos, Apollo is highly honored, being called Sminthian or Cillaean or Grynian or by some other appellation. Near these islands is Pordoselene, which contains a city of the same name, and also, in front of this city, another island, larger and of the same name, which is uninhabited and has a temple sacred to Apollo.  Some writers, to avoid the indecency of the names, say that in this place we should read "Poroselene," and that we should call Aspordenum, the rocky and barren mountain round Pergamum, "Asporenum," and the temple of the Mother of the gods there the temple of the "Asporene" mother.8 What, then, shall we say of Pordalis and Saperdes and Perdiccas, and of the phrase of Simonides,“banished, 'pordacian' clothes and all,
”instead of "wet" clothes, and, somewhere in the early comedy,“the place is 'pordacian,'
”that is, the place that is "marshy"? Lesbos is equidistant from Tenedos and Lemnos and Chios, one might say rather less than five hundred stadia.
1 But Sigrium was the westernmost promontory of the island.
2 More accurately, "southwesternmost."
3 The total, 1110, being ten more than the round number given above.
4 Alcaeus Fr. 33 （Bergk）
6 Reigned 589-579 B.C.
7 Arion Fr. 4 （Bergk）
8 i.e., they avoid "pord," which, as also "perd," is the stem of an indecent Greek word.
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