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On the voyage from Nisaea to Attica one comes to five small islands. Then to Salamis, which is about seventy stadia in length, though some say eighty. It contains a city of the same name; the ancient city, now deserted, faces towards Aegina and the south wind (just as Aeschylus has said, “"And Aegina here lies towards the blasts of the south wind"
1), but the city of today is situated on a gulf, on a peninsula-like place which borders on Attica. In early times it was called by different names, for example, "Sciras" and "Cychreia," after certain heroes. It is from one2 of these heroes that Athena is called "Sciras," and that a place in Attica is called "Scira," and that a certain sacred rite is performed in honor of "Scirus,"3 and that one of the months is called "Scirophorion." And it is from the other hero that the serpent "Cychreides" took its name—the serpent which, according to Hesiod, was fostered by Cychreus and driven out by Eurylochus because it was damaging the island, and was welcomed to Eleusis by Demeter and made her attendant. And the island was also called Pityussa, from the tree.4 But the fame of the island is due to the Aiacidae, who ruled over it, and particularly to Aias, the son of Telamon, and also to the fact that near this island Xerxes was defeated by the Greeks in a naval battle and fled to his homeland. And the Aeginetans also shared in the glory of this struggle, since they were neighbors and furnished a considerable fleet. And there is in Salamis a river Bocarus, which is now called Bocalia.

1 Aesch. Fr. 404

2 Scirus.

3 Scirus founded the ancient sanctuary of Athena Sciras at Phalerum. After his death the Eleusinians buried him between Athens and Eleusis at a place which in his honor they called "Scira," or, according to Paus. 1.36.4 and others, "Scirum."

4 "Pitys," "pine-tree."

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