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[16]

The poet next enumerates the cities subject to Philoctetes. Now Methone is different from the Thracian Methone, which was razed to the ground by Philip. I have mentioned heretofore the change of the names of these places, and of certain places in the Peloponnesus. 1 And the other places enumerated by the poet are Thaumacia and Olizon and Meliboea, which are on the next stretch of seacoast. Off the country of the Magnetans lie numerous islands, but the only notable ones are Sciathos, Peparethos, and Icos, and also Halonnesos and Scyros, all having cities of the same name. But Scyros is the most notable, because of the family relation between Lycomedes and Achilles, and of the birth and nurture there of Neoptolemus the son of Achilles. In later times, when Philip had waxed powerful and saw that the Athenians dominated the sea and ruled over the islands, both these and the rest, he caused the islands that were near him to be most famous; for, since he was fighting for the hegemony, he always attacked those places which were close to him, and, just as he added to Macedonia most parts of the Magnetan country and of Thrace and of the rest of the land all round, so he also seized the islands off Magnesia and made those which were previously well-known to nobody objects of contention and hence well-known. Now Scyros is chiefly commended by the place it occupies in the ancient legends, but there are other things which cause it to be widely mentioned, as, for instance, the excellence of the Scyrian goats, and the quarries of the Scyrian variegated marble, which is comparable to the Carystian marble,2 and to the Docimaean or Synnadic,3 and to the Hierapolitic.4 For at Rome are to be seen monolithic columns and great slabs of the variegated marble; and with this marble the city is being adorned both at public and at private expense; and it has caused the quarries of white marble5 to be of little worth.

1 See 8. 4. 3-4, 8. 5. 3 and 8. 6. 15.

2 See 10. 1. 6.

3 See 12. 8. 14.

4 See 13. 4. 14.

5 But the Greek might mean, instead of "quarries of white marble," simply "white marble" in general.

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