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The city of Delos is in a plain. Delos contains the temple of Apollo, and the Latoum, or temple of Latona. The Cynthus,1 a naked and rugged mountain, overhangs the city. The Inopus,2 not a large river, for the island is small, flows through it. Anciently, even from the heroic times, this island has been held in veneration on account of the divinities worshipped here. Here, according to the fable, Latona was relieved from the pains of labour, and gave birth to Apollo and Diana. “‘Before this time,’ (says Pindar,3) ‘Delos was carried about by the waves, and by winds blowing from every quarter, but when the daughter of Cœus set her foot upon it, who was then suffering the sharp pangs of approaching child-birth, at that instant four upright columns, resting on adamant, sprang from the depths of the earth and retained it fast on the rugged rock; there she brought forth, and beheld her happy offspring.’” The islands lying about it, called Cyclades, gave it celebrity, since they were in the habit of sending at the public charge, as a testimony of respect, sacred delegates, (Theori,) sacrifices, and bands of virgins; they also repaired thither in great multitudes to celebrate festivals.4

1 Thermia. Hence Apollo Cynthius.

2 Mentioned in b. vi. c. ii. § 4, as connected with the Nile. Bryant, Mytho. v. i. p. 206, derives the name from Ain Opus, The fountain of the Serpent, i. e. Python.

3 Boeckh, Fragm. Pind. 58. ii. 2, p. 587.

4 Thucyd. iii. 104.

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