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 The present Ilium was a kind of village-city, when the Romans first came into Asia and expelled Antiochus the Great from the country within the Taurus. Demetrius of Scepsis says that, when a youth, he came, in the course of his travels, to this city, about that time, and saw the houses so neglected that even the roofs were without tiles. Hegesianax1 also relates, that the Galatians, who crossed over from Europe, being in want of some strong-hold, went up to the city, but immediately left it, when they saw that it was not fortified with a wall; afterwards it underwent great reparation and improvement. It was again injured by the Romans under the command of Fimbrias. They took it by siege in the Mithridatic war. Fimbrias was sent as quæstor, with the consul Valerius Flaccus, who was appointed to carry on the war against Mithridates. But having excited a sedition, and put the consul to death in Bithynia, he placed himself at the head of the army and advanced towards Ilium, where the inhabit- ants refused to admit him into the city, as they regarded him as a robber. He had recourse to force, and took the city on the eleventh day. When he was boasting that he had taken a city on the eleventh day, which Agamemnon had reduced with difficulty in the tenth year of the siege with a fleet of a thousand vessels, and with the aid of the whole of Greece, one of the Ilienses replied, ‘We had no Hector to defend the city.’ Sylla afterwards came, defeated Fimbrias, and dismissed Mithridates, according to treaty, into his own territory. Sylla conciliated the Ilienses by extensive repairs of their city. In our time divus Cæsar showed them still more favour, in imitation of Alexander. He was inclined to favour them, for the purpose of renewing his family connexion with the Ilienses, and as an admirer of Homer. There exists a corrected copy of the poems of Homer, called ‘the casket-copy.’ Alexander perused it in company with Callisthenes and Anaxarchus, and having made some marks and observations deposited it in a casket2 of costly workmanship which he found among the Persian treasures. On account then of his admiration of the poet and his descent from the Æacidæ, (who were kings of the Molossi, whose queen they say was Andromache, afterwards the wife of Hector,) Alexander treated the Ilienses with kindness. But Cæsar, who admired the character of Alexander, and had strong proofs of his affinity to the Ilienses, had the greatest possible desire to be their benefactor. The proofs of his affinity to the Ilienses were strong, first as being a Roman, —for the Romans consider Æneas to be the founder of their race,—next he had the name of Julius, from Iulus, one of his ancestors, a descendant of Æneas. He therefore assigned to them a district, and guaranteed their liberty with exemption from imposts, and they continue at present to enjoy these advantages. They maintain by this evidence that the ancient Ilium, even by Homer's account, was not situated there. I must however first describe the places which commence from, the sea-coast, where I made the digression.
1 A native of Alexandreia-Troas and a grammarian; he was the author of Commentaries on various authors and of a History of the Trojan War.—Athœneus.
2 According to Pliny, b. vii. 29, this casket contained the perfumes of Darius, unguentorum scrinium. According to Plutarch, (Life of Alexander,) the poem of Homer was the Iliad revised and corrected by Aristotle. From what Strabo here says of Callisthenes and Anaxarchus, we may probably understand a second revision made by them under inspection of Alexander.
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