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After the mouth of the Silaris one comes to Leucania, and to the temple of the Argoan Hera, built by Jason, and near by, within fifty stadia, to Poseidonia. Thence, sailing out past the gulf, one comes to Leucosia,1 an island, from which it is only a short voyage across to the continent. The island is named after one of the Sirens, who was cast ashore here after the Sirens had flung themselves, as the myth has it, into the depths of the sea. In front of the island lies that promontory2 which is opposite the Sirenussae and with them forms the Poseidonian Gulf. On doubling this promontory one comes immediately to another gulf, in which there is a city which was called "Hyele" by the Phocaeans who founded it, and by others "Ele," after a certain spring, but is called by the men of today "Elea." This is the native city of Parmenides and Zeno, the Pythagorean philosophers. It is my opinion that not only through the influence of these men but also in still earlier times the city was well governed; and it was because of this good government that the people not only held their own against the Leucani and the Poseidoniatae, but even returned victorious, although they were inferior to them both in extent of territory and in population. At any rate, they are compelled, on account of the poverty of their soil, to busy themselves mostly with the sea and to establish factories for the salting of fish, and other such industries. According to Antiochus,3 after the capture of Phocaea by Harpagus, the general of Cyrus, all the Phocaeans who could do so embarked with their entire families on their light boats and, under the leadership of Creontiades, sailed first to Cyrnus and Massalia, but when they were beaten off from those places founded Elea. Some, however, say that the city took its name from the River Elees.4 It is about two hundred stadia distant from Poseidonia. After Elea comes the promontory of Palinurus. Off the territory of Elea are two islands, the Oenotrides, which have anchoring-places. After Palinurus comes Pyxus—a cape, harbor, and river, for all three have the same name. Pyxus was peopled with new settlers by Micythus, the ruler of the Messene in Sicily, but all the settlers except a few sailed away again. After Pyxus comes another gulf, and also Laüs—a river and city; it is the last of the Leucanian cities, lying only a short distance above the sea, is a colony of the Sybaritae, and the distance thither from Ele is four hundred stadia. The whole voyage along the coast of Leucania is six hundred and fifty stadia. Near Laüs is the hero-temple of Draco, one of the companions of Odysseus, in regard to which the following oracle was given out to the Italiotes:5 “Much people will one day perish about Laïan Draco.
6 And the oracle came true, for, deceived by it, the peoples7 who made campaigns against Laüs, that is, the Greek inhabitants of Italy, met disaster at the hands of the Leucani.

1 Now Licosa.

2 Poseidium, now Punta Della Licosa.

3 Antiochus Syracusanus, the historian. Cp. Hdt. 1.167

4 The Latin form is "Hales" (now the Alento).

5 The Greek inhabitants of Italy were called "Italiotes."

6 There is a word-play here which cannot be brought out in translation: the word for "people" in Greek is "laos."

7 Literally, "laoi."

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