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I have already mentioned the marvellous circumstances pertaining to the Alpeius and the Eurotas,1 and also to the Erasinus, which now flows underground from the Stymphalian Lake,2 and issues forth into the Argive country, although in earlier times it had no outlet, since the "berethra,"3 which the Arcadians call "zerethra," were stopped up and did not admit of the waters being carried off so that the city of the Stymphalians4 is now fifty stadia5 distant from the lake, although then it was situated on the lake. But the contrary was the case with the Ladon, since its stream was once checked because of the blocking up of its sources; for the "berethra" near Pheneus, through which it flowed, fell in as the result of an earthquake and checked the stream as far down into the depths of the earth as the veins which supplied its source. Thus some writers tell it. But Eratosthenes says that near Pheneus the river Anias,6 as it is called, makes a lake of the region in front of the city and flows down into sink-holes, which are called "zerethra"; and when these are stopped up the water sometimes overflows into the plains, and when they are again opened up it rushes out of the plains all at once and empties into the Ladon and the Alpheius, so that even at Olympia the land around the temple was once inundated, while the lake was reduced; and the Erasinus, which flows past Stympllalus, sinks and flows beneath the mountain7 and reappears in the Argive land; and it was on this account, also, that Iphicrates, when he was besieging Stymphalus and accomplishing nothing, tried to block up the sink with a large quantity of sponges with which he had supplied himself, but desisted when Zeus sent an omen from the sky. And near Pheneus is also the water of the Styx, as it is called—a small stream of deadly water which is held to be sacred. So much may be said concerning Arcadia.

1 6. 2. 9.

2 i.e., "through a subterranean channel."

3 "Pits."

4 Stymphalus.

5 It is incredible that Strabo wrote "fifty" here. Leake (Morea, III. 146, quoted approvingly by Tozer (Selections, 224, says that "five" must be right, which is "about the number of stades between the site of Stymphalus and the margin of the lake, on the average of the seasons." Palaeographically, however, it is far more likely that Strabo wrote "four" (see critical note).

6 The river formed by the confluence of the Aroanius and the Olbius, according to Frazer (note on Paus. 8.4.13).

7 Apparently Mt. Chaon (see Paus. 2.24).

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