previous next


Next to the Samian strait at Mycale, on the right hand on the voyage to Ephesus, is the sea-coast of the Ephesians, a part of which even the Samians possess. First on the sea-coast is the Panionium,1 distant from the sea three stadia, where the Panionia, a common festival of the Ionians, is celebrated, and a sacrifice is performed in honour of the Heliconian Neptune. The priests are Prienians. We have spoken of them in the description of Peloponnesus.

Then follows Neapolis, which formerly belonged to the Ephesians, but now belongs to the Samians, having exchanged Marathesium2 for it, the more distant for the nearer place. Next is Pygela, a small town, containing a temple of Diana Munychia. It was founded by Agamemnon, and colonized by some of his soldiers, who had a disease in the buttocks, and were called Pygalgeis; as they laboured under this complaint, they settled there, and the town had the appropriate name of Pygela.3

Next is a harbour called Panormus, with a temple of the Ephesian Diana; then the city.

On the same coast, at a little distance from the sea, is Ortygia, a fine wood with trees of all kinds, but the cypress in the greatest abundance. Through this wood flows the river Cenchrius, in which Latona is said to have bathed after the birth of her child. For here is laid the scene of the birth of the child, the cares of the nurse Ortygia, the cave in which the birth took place, the neighbouring olive tree under which the goddess first reposed when the pains of child-birth had ceased.

Above the wood is the mountain Solmissus, where, it is said, the Curetes stationed themselves, and with the noise of their arms perplexed and terrified Juno, who was enviously watching in secret the delivery of Latona, who was thus assisted in concealing the birth of the child.

There are many temples in the place, some of which are ancient, others of later times; in the former are ancient statues; in the latter are works of Scopas, Latona holding a sceptre, and Ortygia standing by her with a child in each arm.

A convention and festival are celebrated there every year. It is the custom for young men to vie with each other, particularly in the splendour of their convivial entertainments. The body of Curetes celebrate their Symposia at the same time, and perform certain mystic sacrifices.

1 Ischanli.

2 Scala Nova.

3 Pliny and Mela give a different origin and name to this town: by them it is called Phygela from φυλὴ, flight or desertion of the sailors, who, wearied with the voyage, abandoned Agamemnon.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus English (1924)
load focus Greek (1877)
hide References (6 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: