previous next


As some persons write the epithet applied by Homer to Lacedæmon, κητώεσσαν, and others καιετάεσσαν, how are we to understand κητώεσσα, whether it is derived from Cetos,1 or whether it denotes ‘large,’ which is most probable. Some understand καιετάεσσα to signify, ‘abounding with calaminthus;’ others suppose, as the fissures occasioned by earthquakes are called Cæeti, that this is the origin of the epithet. Hence Cæietas also, the name of the prison among the Lacedæmonians, which is a sort of cave. Some however say, that such kind of hollows are rather called Coi, whence the expression of Homer,2 applied to wild beasts, φηοͅσὶν ὀρεσκῴοισιν, which live in mountain caves. Laconia however is subject to earthquakes, and some writers relate, that certain peaks of Taÿgetum have been broken off by the shocks.3

Laconia contains also quarries of valuable marble. Those of the Tænarian marble in Tænarum4 are ancient, and certain persons, assisted by the wealth of the Romans, lately opened a large quarry in Taÿgetum.

1 κῆτος. Some are of opinion that the epithet was applied to Lacedæmon, because fish of the cetaceous tribe frequented the coast of Laconia.

2 Il. i. 268.

3 This may have taken place a little before the third Messenian war, B. C. 464, when an earthquake destroyed all the houses in Sparta, with the exception of five. Diod. Sic. b. xv. c. 66; Pliny, b. ii. c. 79.

4 Pliny, b. xxxvi. c. 18, speaks of the black marble of Tænarus.

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 Greek (1877)
load focus English (1924)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
464 BC (1)
hide References (7 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: