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The cities situated on the side which forms the Strait are, first Messana, then Tauromenium,1 Catana, and Syracuse; between Catana and Syracuse were the ruined cities Naxos2 and Megara,3 situated where the rivers descending from Ætna fall into the sea, and afford good accommodation for shipping. Here is also the promontory of Xiphonia. They say that Ephorus founded these first cities of the Greeks in Sicily in the tenth generation from the Trojan war. For those who preceded him were so terrified by the piratical customs of the Tyrrheni, and the ferocity of the savages of the neighbourhood, that they did not even venture to resort thither for the purposes of commerce. Theocles the Athenian, however, having been driven to Sicily by storms, observed both the weakness of the inhabitants and the excellence of the soil. On his return home, he was unable to persuade the Athenians to make any attempt, but he collected a numerous band of Chalcidians in Eubœa, with some Ionians and Dorians, whereof the most part were Megarenses, and sailed. The Chalcidians founded Naxos, and the Dorians Megara, which was at first called Hybla. These cities no longer exist, but the name of Hybla survives on account of the Hyblæan honey.

1 Taormina.

2 Naxos was not situated between Catana and Syracuse, but was most probably built on the left bank of the Fiume Freddo, the ancient Asines, near Taormina. It is possible that Strabo originally wrote, between Messina and Syracuse. Naxos was founded about 734 B. C., and destroyed by Dionysius the elder about the year 403. Naxos is thought by some to be the modern Schisso.

3 Megara was founded on the right of the Cantaro, the ancient Alabus. It was destroyed about 214 years B. C.

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